Is the U.S. giving away PPE to the Israeli military? Ask Gov. Cuomo to investigate

On Wednesday, April 7, 2020, the Jerusalem Post broke the story: "US Department of Defense gives 1 million [surgical] masks to IDF for coronavirus use." The shipment, which had arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport the night before, was also described on Twitter by Israeli army radio journalist Tsahi Dabush: “Credit to US Department of Defense procurement delegates,” he wrote. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has described over and over the shortage of medical equipment facing his state and the entire country. Nurses at many U.S. hospitals must stretch one disposable N95 respirator mask throughout an entire work shift — up to 12 hours — because there are simply not enough. 

Contact Gov. Cuomo and ask him to launch an investigation. The U.S. should be fighting coronavirus, not Israel’s war on the Palestinian people. 

If you are a U.S. resident, fill out the form to the right to send a direct email. If you are an overseas supporter, sign the petition below. Please also RSVP to join the Monday, April 13, webinar live from Bethlehem with Palestinian activists and social worker Munther Amira.


Dear Governor Cuomo,

I am contacting you out of concern about reports that the U.S. Department of Defense just gave one million medical masks to the Israeli military. As you have been telling us for weeks, the United States, and New York State specifically, are suffering from a dire shortage of medical equipment — surgical and N95 masks, medical gowns, respirators, and more — to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. federal government should not be supplying the Israeli military with medical masks to the detriment of U.S. healthcare workers on the frontlines, as well as U.S. citizens who are wearing homemade cloth masks because of the countrywide shortage of medical masks.

PLEASE INVESTIGATE! On Wednesday, April 7, 2020, the Jerusalem Post broke the story: "US Department of Defense gives 1 million [surgical] masks to IDF for coronavirus use," describing the shipment that had arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport the night before. The arrival of masks was also separately announced, via Twitter, by Israeli army radio journalist Tsahi Dabush. “Credit to US Department of Defense procurement delegates,” he wrote, alongside a picture of the masks that the U.S. was providing for Israeli’s occupation rather than health workers on the frontlines of America’s COVID-19 crisis. 

After the story of the U.S. diverting medical masks to the Israeli military received attention, the Jerusalem Post altered the headline and content of their article to erase any mention of the U.S. No correction or explanation was given for the change and Tsahi Dabush’s tweet remains, indicating the accuracy of the original report.

As you are aware, in the beginning of April, nurses at Mount Sinai West hospital in Midtown Manhattan had to cover themselves with garbage bags because there were no more medical gowns. After their story went viral, they were provided with gowns but they still have to stretch one disposable N95 respirator mask throughout an entire work shift — up to 12 hours — because there are simply not enough. 

If the U.S. were in a position to be providing masks or other medical equipment to other countries to help with the global COVID-19 fight, it should be to countries most in need. Israel is a wealthy country that already receives $3.8 billion a year from the U.S. to carry out its illegal occupation and siege of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. 

The last thing the U.S. needs to be doing now is diverting medical masks, needed at home, to the Israeli military for its illegal and immoral occupation. Please order an investigation to see if this is indeed happening. As Americans, we want to be fighting coronavirus, not Israel’s war on the Palestinian people. 

Sincerely,

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